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Thread: Hammer A3-41 vs Minimax FS41 Dust Collection

  1. #1
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    Hammer A3-41 vs Minimax FS41 Dust Collection

    Hello all. I'm looking at both of these models as a potential planer/jointer. My primary concern is about dust collection.

    The information and pictures are somewhat limited here so I am looking for people who have experience working with both of these machines.

    One of the problems I see with the Hammer is how the dust hood is engineered. It's incredibly hard to see how the dust hood fits down in the videos and pictures. However, it seems like a loose area dust hood. In several videos, you can see dust/chips just sitting in the hood before they flip it over for planing mode. There is always tons of sawdust all over the hood, cutter-head and planing bed. The Jay Bates video states that dust collection on this is not perfect.

    When examining pictures/videos of the Minimax FS41, you do have two separate dust hoods for planing/jointing. However, it seems like the hoods are shaped to come down right on top or along side of the cutter head with a good front/back seal (engineered specifically for each purpose of jointing or planing). It seems to me that the Minimax would provide better suction/collection of this dust under operation. I have read some comments that the Minimax dust hood gets clogged with chips frequently. I actually think this is when you use straight knives on the cutter wheel. I do remember using a 15" planer back in the day where the dust port would just get clogged with 12" long shavings all the time. This was a major pain. I plan to use a helical cutter head, so I don't think I will have problems with long shavings. I believe that the long shavings may get clogged in ports if you don't have enough suction/CFM (i.e. the weight of the long shaving would be too much for limited CFM).

    If you are running 3+ HP dust collection, it may not be a problem. However, I'm currently using a Jet 1100 dust collector. With a 5" hose, I think I will realistically get about 550 CFM at the machine.

    Can anyone give there experiences with these two machines here? I understand that I do have limited CFM on my dust collection right now. Would it be better to go down to a 12" machine? (I know many regret the limited 12" size).

  2. #2
    I have the FS41e and the dust collection has never been an issue. Does the collector get 100% of the chips: no. But it gets enough of them that it only necessitates a minor brush-off of a few errant chips now and again.

  3. #3
    Iíve used/sold MANY of both. To answer your question, there is no real-world difference between those machines as far as dust extraction, especially with modern spiral cutterheads. The biggest limiting factor will be your dust collector. Hope this helps.

    Erik

  4. #4

    Dust Collection

    I have the Hammer A3-41. I use a 20' corrugated 4" Rockler hose, which I attach to a dust deputy with a 5" connector, then it's attached to my Jet DC1200, which is mounted high on the wall. I put a 5 gallon bucket under the Vortex vein and a Wynn filter above. No issues with any dust collection at any of the machines. I think you're probably overthinking it. The chips on my Hammer don't come off as long strips, just little flakes, as the spiral cutterhead has like 60+ knives.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Inami View Post
    Hello all. I'm looking at both of these models as a potential planer/jointer. My primary concern is about dust collection.

    The information and pictures are somewhat limited here so I am looking for people who have experience working with both of these machines.

    One of the problems I see with the Hammer is how the dust hood is engineered. It's incredibly hard to see how the dust hood fits down in the videos and pictures. However, it seems like a loose area dust hood. In several videos, you can see dust/chips just sitting in the hood before they flip it over for planing mode. There is always tons of sawdust all over the hood, cutter-head and planing bed. The Jay Bates video states that dust collection on this is not perfect.

    When examining pictures/videos of the Minimax FS41, you do have two separate dust hoods for planing/jointing. However, it seems like the hoods are shaped to come down right on top or along side of the cutter head with a good front/back seal (engineered specifically for each purpose of jointing or planing). It seems to me that the Minimax would provide better suction/collection of this dust under operation. I have read some comments that the Minimax dust hood gets clogged with chips frequently. I actually think this is when you use straight knives on the cutter wheel. I do remember using a 15" planer back in the day where the dust port would just get clogged with 12" long shavings all the time. This was a major pain. I plan to use a helical cutter head, so I don't think I will have problems with long shavings. I believe that the long shavings may get clogged in ports if you don't have enough suction/CFM (i.e. the weight of the long shaving would be too much for limited CFM).

    If you are running 3+ HP dust collection, it may not be a problem. However, I'm currently using a Jet 1100 dust collector. With a 5" hose, I think I will realistically get about 550 CFM at the machine.

    Can anyone give there experiences with these two machines here? I understand that I do have limited CFM on my dust collection right now. Would it be better to go down to a 12" machine? (I know many regret the limited 12" size).
    No matter how the machine is made if the DE is not up to the job it will leave chips behind so a good DE is the first problem to be addressed. My Clearvue never leaves any chips behind when I am using my A3 because it has a big airflow capacity and depending on your dust extractor you can have the same result. If the DE is not working efficiently on any machine the first question to be asked is how capable the DE is and the vast majority on Asian small machines are simply band aids to dust extraction and we won't even mention the unseen fine dust problem they create. My rule of thumb is if it doesn't have at least a 14" impeller you are fighting a losing battle.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  6. #6
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    I don't think any dust extractor will get 100% of the chips produced, so I have learned to accept a small amount of missed chips. I have the Hammer A3-41 and running an older Delta single stage 1 1/2
    horse collector. I think my collection is aided by having the jointer/planer machine closest to the DC with the shortest run of piping (flex hose). This machine is the biggest dust/chip generator in my shop so proximity to the DC is my solution.
    My next big shop purchase will be a more powerful dust collector.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wilkins View Post
    I don't think any dust extractor will get 100% of the chips produced, so I have learned to accept a small amount of missed chips. I have the Hammer A3-41 and running an older Delta single stage 1 1/2
    horse collector. I think my collection is aided by having the jointer/planer machine closest to the DC with the shortest run of piping (flex hose). This machine is the biggest dust/chip generator in my shop so proximity to the DC is my solution.
    My next big shop purchase will be a more powerful dust collector.
    Mine gets it all. I would not buy any DE with less than a 14" impeller but 15" is better and I would not buy a single phase machine as a 3 phase machine run through a VFD is a far more flexible and capable answer to the problem. A VFD is run from a single phase power point so anyone can use a 3 phase machine.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  8. #8
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    Thanks, all. It seems that I need to put a dust collector upgrade higher up on the priority list now. What are your thoughts on Clearvue vs Oneida? Initially, I like the Oneida V3000 for lower noise and position of the intake (works better for my shop).

    (edit) all never mind. There is already tons of "oneida vs clearvue" discussions.
    Last edited by Aaron Inami; 06-23-2022 at 1:08 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Inami View Post
    Thanks, all. It seems that I need to put a dust collector upgrade higher up on the priority list now. What are your thoughts on Clearvue vs Oneida? Initially, I like the Oneida V3000 for lower noise and position of the intake (works better for my shop).

    (edit) all never mind. There is already tons of "oneida vs clearvue" discussions.
    Don't buy any less than a 15" impeller & forget horse power ratings... they mean damn all in the great big scheme of things.

    A bit of food for thought about the advantages of 3 phase

    Low current on start up
    Unlimited starts per hour
    Speed control
    Kinder on the equipment due to soft start
    Can be run at higher speeds than normal if needed
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  10. #10
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    Chris - what VFD are you using for your clearvue? Does it have a remote control?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Inami View Post
    Chris - what VFD are you using for your clearvue? Does it have a remote control?
    I have a 10 year history selling maybe a hundred or more Powtran VFD's and have had maybe two or three failures over that time and 99.9% of Clearvues sold in Oz which is getting towards a 1000 units now are controlled by a Powtran VFD. The operating panel can be removed and placed at a convenient spot using a CAT 5 or 6 cable or a generic remote control can be used. I know I have a bit of a special relationship with Powtran but I ALWAYS get a return email within a few hours if I have a question. I will ask my contact if I can publish his contact details if you want to investigate further.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  12. #12
    Just my opinion, which anyone is free to accept or reject as they like: Don’t overthink the dust collection situation and just buy a 1-phase extractor. 5hp is awesome but 3hp is more than adequate for the average weekend warrior with a jointer/planer. I’ve sold eleventy-million J/P’s to garage woodworkers. The average budget cyclone is what 90% of those owners use and nobody complains, so long as they’re using 5” hose. If you really wanted to splurge on a dust collector, I would look at one of those Harvey units but there is really no need to go 3-phase for a hobby woodworking shop. Again, just my opinion.

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  13. #13
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    I'm running an A3-41 with an Oneida V3000 - it works great, really no issues. A V3000 is fine if you do a good job routing the piping, you should actually calculate the loss through the length and bends.

  14. #14
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    I agree with Eric. 5" hose to that 120mm port and a reasonable 3+ HP cyclone are more than adequate for these J/Ps. Yes, some material will get by and that's simply because of how the hoods have to be designed to actually fit around the cutterhead. When I first bought my J/P, I actually did have an older/smaller cyclone that wasn't up to the task of clearing chips from a wide machine like that, but after an upgrade, the only time things ever came to a standstill was when "I" plugged the cyclone by not paying attention to the bin.

    Which reminds me...the smaller bin on my temporary DC is full...again.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I agree with Eric. 5" hose to that 120mm port and a reasonable 3+ HP cyclone are more than adequate for these J/Ps.
    Driving what size impeller? My whole point is a specified HP figure means zip, nothing, nada, it is the impeller size which defines how much air gets moved as long as the motor is reaching full speed. The whole WW community has been mislead and ripped off by the retail industry who quote HP as the significant sales point. I bet a lot of people would be surprised if they opened up different HP dust extractors and found the impeller is the same in different HP machines.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

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